Hospitals have been ordered to provide free parking for some patients and visitors under new NHS guidelines announced by the government.
The new guidelines make clear that the actions of private parking firms will be the responsibility of hospital trusts and that details about parking charges should be clearly publicised in car parks and inside hospitals.
Studies have previously found that NHS hospitals make millions of pounds from parking charges.
Research by Macmillan Cancer Support has showed that the average daily cost of using a hospital car park is £7.66, with rates ranging from nothing to £24 a day.
Conservative MP Stephen Metcalfe said: “For those who say car parking charges are vital income for hospitals, they need to answer why 25% of hospitals charge nothing at all and why there is such variation between not only regions, but even neighbouring hospitals.”
Macmillan’s head of policy, Duleep Allirajah also said “Hospitals must not ignore government guidance and commit to implementing the guidelines as a matter of urgency so that cancer patients do not continue to pay unfair hospital parking charges.”